When the Cowboys shocked the world by taking linebacker Jaylon Smith early in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft, much of the fan base had already made up their mind on the pick.
"He'll never be the same player."
"It's a good story, but a wasted pick."
These were the popular opinions among not only Cowboys Nation, but around the entire league as well. No one could imagine Jaylon Smith recovering from his severe knee injury to the point he would even play again, let alone play at the level he had prior to sustaining the injury.
But, here we sit, two years later ready to see what Jaylon Smith can do with a healthy offseason of preparation. And according to Jaylon Smith, he's starting to feel like himself again.
Jaylon Smith says his 20-yard shuttle time is now 3.98 seconds without the brace. Was 4.03 with it. #Cowboys
Jaylon Smith told the media on Wednesday that his 20-yard shuttle time is down to 3.98 seconds without the brace (which he famously ditched this year) from 4.03 seconds with it. That time of 3.98 seconds would put him in the 99th percentile of linebackers according to MockDraftable.
It's not only his 20-yard shuttle time which has reportedly improved, however.
Jaylon Smith says he's added 8 pounds of muscle, and is down to 3.5% body fat. 3.5 percent. "Good genes," he said with a smile. The man is built like a damn statue. #Cowboys
Jaylon Smith also stated yesterday that he's added 8 pounds of muscle and is down to 3.5% body fat. If all of this is true, Smith could be in store for a hell of a season.
Arguably Smith's best quality coming out of Notre Dame was his overall athleticism. Smith was incredibly rangy, with the ability to fly from sideline to sideline and make plays. He was just as fluid and comfortable rushing the passer as he was dropping into coverage.
Since the knee injury, Jaylon Smith hasn't consistently looked the same. By the end of last season (effectively his rookie year), Smith started to look better week in and week out. Much of this could be attributed to the fact he was able to play less snaps with Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens finally both being healthy, however.
But, still, Jaylon Smith impressed in his limited role. Now alongside Sean Lee and Leighton Vander Esch, Smith has the chance to complete one of the more athletic linebacker corps in the league. If he can really return to form, this Cowboys defense can begin to look scary to opposing offenses.
Report: QB Dak Prescott Signs Multi-Year Deal With Campbell’s Chunky Soup
Being the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback comes with its challenges, but it certainly comes with its perks as well. One of those perks is the opportunity for endorsement deals, and income outside of his football salary.
Dak Prescott is embracing those perks now, reportedly signing a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. Prescott will continue to endorse Chunky MAXX, Campbell's protein soup line.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has re-signed a new multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. This is the first QB multi-year deal for Chunky Soup since Donovan McNabb in 2001. He'll continue to promote Chunky MAXX, the protein-packed line of soups, this year, per Edelman
Campbell's Soup has had some legendary football related commercials throughout the years, none more memorable than those with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his mother.
In fact, Dak Prescott is the first NFL quarterback to sign a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup since those McNabb commercials.
Hopefully, Dak Prescott can continue to "prove it" on the field and still be the Cowboys starting quarterback throughout this entire Campbell's deal.
BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year
For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.
Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.
Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.
In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.
Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.
The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.
Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers
When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.
Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.
Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.
A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.
This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.
If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.
Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.
Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.
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